Psalm 84

Psalm 84  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Listen from:
To the director on the Gittith, for the sons of Korah. A Psalm.
How lovely are thy dwelling places, Jehovah of Hosts!
My soul has earnestly desired, and has also wasted away for the courts of Jehovah;
My heart and my flesh cry aloud to the living God.
Yea, a sparrow has found an house, And a swallow a nest for herself, Where she has placed her brood, Thine altars, Jehovah of Hosts, My King, and my God.
Blessed are (lit. happinesses of) the dwellers in Thy house:
They shall still praise Thee. Pause.
Blessed is (lit. happinesses of) a man whose strength is in Thee;
High ways in their heart.
Those passing through a valley of weeping,
A fountain they make it;
Moreover, the rain covers it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength, He (i.e. each one) appeareth unto God in Zion.
Jehovah, God of Hosts, hear my prayer: Give ear, God of Jacob. Pause.
9. Our shield see, 0 God,
And look on the face of Thy Messiah (lit, anointed).
10. For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand.
I have chosen to remain at the threshold in the house of my God, Rather than to dwell in tents of wickedness.
11. For a sun and shield is Jehovah God: Grace and glory will Jehovah give:
He will not withhold good to those walking in integrity.
12. Jehovah of hosts,
Blessed is (lit. happinesses of) a man who trusteth in Thee.
The above forms part of the third book of Psalms, which, commencing with Psa. 73 and ending with Psa. 89, treats of the desolation of the sanctuary (74.), the city (79.), and the throne (89); and therefore concerns Israel at large, and not merely the godly remnant of the Jews. In keeping, then, with the character of this book, Psa. 84 describes God's altar as neglected, worship no longer ascending to Him as it had done after the return of the Jews, and before the development of the plans of antichrist. Both the brazen altar and the golden altar are left uncared for, and unused; so the birds can, unmolested, find about them suitable places whereon to place their broods.
Reading Psa. 79 we are introduced to Jerusalem in the lowest condition in which she will be found after the last sue' cessful siege yet to be undertaken against her by her enemies is a fait accompli. To this Isa. 29:1-41Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. 2Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. 3And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. 4And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. (Isaiah 29:1‑4), and Zech. 14:1,21Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. (Zechariah 14:1‑2), refer. Following on to Psa. 80, we read of the vineyard wasted, and the vine trampled down, hence God is therein supplicated to raise up the vine, and to restore prosperity to the nation, their hopes resting on Messiah, the man of God's right hand (vv. 14-19) for full deliverance. So the Psalm closes in prayer, recalling to mind part of the formula of the blessing of Israel in Num. 6 Psa. 81, carrying on the subject, sets forth the principles on which earthly blessings can be enjoyed by Israel (vv. 8-10), in answer to the cry of the preceding one. With this before them, they are exhorted at the outset of the Psalm to sing to God, and to count on the restoration of festivals, that of the new moon being typical of renovation in store for the people. Ps.82. celebrates God again among them, judging among the judges. For evil must be dealt with ere full blessing can be known. But taking His place as Judge in Israel, He will judge the earth and inherit all nations. Hence, as a needful prelude to this last thought, the confederacy against Israel is described, and God's interference is implored to overthrow it definitely and forever, as He did the Canaanites and Midianites of old. This is the subject of Psa. 83 How the cry is answered, Isaiah (10: 25-26; 29: 6-8), Joel (2: 20), and Zechariah (12: 1-9) prophetically describe. That destruction accomplished, the way to God's house will be opened for His people, whither the desire of their heart is to go, as Psa. 84 beautifully describes.
In vv. 1-4 the writer expresses the longing desire of his heart to be there. In vv. 5-8 he describes the way thither. And in vv. 9-12 he sets forth that all must be accomplished for them by the Messiah, God's anointed one. The pause, Selah, here as elsewhere marks the divisions of the Psalm. In each portion the writer speaks of blessedness. It will be blessed to dwell in God's house. It is blessed for the man whose strength is in God. It is blessed, too, for Him who trusteth in Jehovah, God of Hosts.